Sunday, 3 October 2010
Hooptedoodle #4 - Let's Hear it for the Moonbeams
Looking over the postings to date in this blog, I keep finding traces of what have been constant themes for me in building up my armies - the frequent demise of my favourite figure manufacturers, and the frustration of dealing with firms which seemed to conduct their activities in a haphazard, apparently clueless manner which cannot be unrelated to this high rate of mortality.
I spent almost all my salaried life working as a professional in the finance industry - not a fashionable item on the CV these days - and I became very used to people doing what they said they were going to do, on the date they said they were going to do it. Further, I eventually took the planned, underwritten, regulated, audited, boring environment in which I existed as a behavioural norm. When I was not at work, my expectations of retail stores and other organisations with which I transacted was that they, also, would behave in a disciplined, predictable manner. Life is too busy to waste in chasing people who mess you around.
And then there were the wargame figure dealers. They were a world apart.
The underlying problem is the entirely predictable one that businesses run by enthusiasts often run into difficulties when the business grows beyond being just a hobby. On the other hand, if it wasn't for these enthusiasts there would be no suppliers. A true entrepreneur would not be impressed by the business case for marketing a wide range of specialised castings to a small number of guys who spend their weekends in lofts, painting - he would take one look at the hassle, the overheads, the health and safety problems and the likely return on making little soldiers for a small nerd market(!) and would do something else instead. If it wasn't for the dreamers and the freaks (which certainly includes me, after all) the hobby wouldn't exist, so bless 'em all.
Belatedly, and notwithstanding all previous grumblings, I offer a toast of gratitude to all the lovely people, moonbeams and headless chickens, living or not, who have made my hobby possible.